Monday, October 5, 2009


By Amy Leigh Womack -
as published in the Macon Telegraph, October 4, 2009.

@ Beau Cabell

Stephen Grieser enjoys talking with people and teaching them how to be safe on the road. As a Dublin police officer, he hopes he can make a difference as he patrols the streets looking for violators.

Grieser, 34, is scheduled to be honored at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Denver as one of 13 officers recognized by the association and Parade Magazine.

While a San Antonio police officer will be named 2009 Officer of the Year, Grieser and 11 other officers will be awarded with honorable mentions, according to an article appearing in today’s Parade Magazine, which appears in The Telegraph.

“He’s very conscientious about his job and dedicated,” said Sgt. James Champion, Grieser’s supervisor. “He really has a passion for helping the community as far as traffic goes and making the community safer.”

Police Chief Wayne Cain said national recognition speaks highly of Grieser and the police department. After seeing Grieser’s dedication, Champion said he wanted to find a way to reward him. The Officer of the Year award seemed to be a good fit, so he nominated Grieser.

Grieser said he never thought his application would go any further than the submission. “You’re taking about something national, across the country,” he said.

Grieser graduated from Dublin High School in 1994 and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Four years later, he returned to Dublin and worked at a factory and as a construction worker.

Nothing really fulfilled him, he said, until 2004 when he joined the Dublin Police Department as a patrolman. “I always had an interest in law enforcement,” Grieser said.

Two years later he applied to work on the department’s HEAT team, which patrols the roads looking for aggressive and dangerous drivers. Since then he’s taught classes for parents and teenagers to help better prepare young drivers.

Champion said Grieser has taught about 40 classes at local schools and civic clubs in the past year. Assigned to a statewide older driver task force, Grieser created a form to be used by police officers when they encounter older drivers on the road.

Previously, there was no set standard other than a required vision test to ensure older drivers were fit to drive. Using Grieser’s form, police officers who encounter older drivers driving dangerously can write up a synopsis of the circumstances and send the form to the Georgia Department of Driver Services, he said.

A review board will look over the form and may send the case to a doctor to further examine if the driver is fit to get behind the wheel, Grieser said. “We’re not just trying to take their license away,” he said. Instead, Grieser said, the aim is to make the roads safer for everyone.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.

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